by Charlotte Carter
Some years ago I was writing magazine articles. I’d allow myself ten rejects per article then moved onto something else. (I did manage to sell a ‘few’ articles, but what a struggle!)
During that time I had my annual physical exam. The first thing my doctor asked was “How are you feeling?” I responded I was depressed and explained about the rejections. What he said next has stuck with me all these years.
“If you know why you are depressed, you’re okay.”
Years later, when I started writing novels and began to pile up rejects, I remembered his comment. I was much better able to shrug off the pain and disappointment of a rejection letter.
Sure, I grieved a little. Twenty-four hours was the max. Then I got back to my writing. I did not let the rejection get me down.
Here’s another trick I use: As soon as I send one manuscript or proposal off, I start on another project. If the first proposal is rejected, I know the new project I’m working on will sell. Editors will be clamoring to buy my brilliant work! (Well, maybe not clamoring, but my optimism buoys my spirits and keeps me going.)
I’m also adamant about not keeping rejections I receive. (I do, however, keep a record of where I or my agent has sent my material and the result.) I read the rejections, learn from them if I can, and toss them. I don’t even paper the bathroom with the clever and potentially deflating prose. I don’t need to keep that negativity in my house.
Having a lot of writer friends, either online or in person, helps too. You can whine to them and they understand. Every published author has tales of their own rejects and how they overcame the disappointment.
So don’t let those pesky rejects stop you. Keep on writing.
Books that leave you smiling
from Love Inspired:
Big Sky Reunion, 4/2011
Big Sky Family, 11/2011